As the national divorce rate continues to hover near 50 percent, you are far from alone if you have decided your marriage is no longer serving you. It is natural to feel overwhelmed and even intimidated by the divorce process, as you will need to make several critical decisions and engage in potentially contentious negotiations with your spouse to ensure you have what you need to begin the next chapter of your life. Even if you and your spouse remain on friendly terms, you can benefit from enlisting the guidance of an experienced Portland divorce attorney. Your lawyer will help you explore all your divorce options and empower you to make these important decisions with confidence. In particular, an attorney can help you navigate complicated matters like spousal support. Below are just a few advantages of working with a dedicated Portland divorce attorney who will protect your best interests at every turn.
Understanding Spousal Support in Oregon
One major advantage of working with a knowledgeable divorce lawyer is their willingness to explain each component of the divorce process in Oregon. Your lawyer can assess the specifics of your situation and help you identify the most strategic path forward. For instance, an attorney can help you understand the main types of spousal support in Oregon and determine which option would best support your needs.
Transitional support usually applies to divorcing couples involving one spouse who needs further education or training to reenter or advance in the workplace. Essentially, this type of spousal support allows one spouse to receive financial assistance while they gain the necessary skills to find gainful employment and financially transition to single life after the marriage ends. Transitional support ends once the purpose of the transitional support has been met.
If one spouse has made a significant financial contribution to the other spouse’s education, training, or career, the court may order the recipient to pay compensatory support as part of the divorce settlement. Although compensatory support is rare, it applies in certain situations where one spouse makes a one-time payment to the other spouse to acknowledge their financial assistance during the marriage.
Oregon courts will determine whether spousal maintenance is appropriate for your divorce. Spousal maintenance typically applies to long-term marriages where the income gap between the spouses is significant. The higher-earning spouse usually makes monthly payments to the lower-earning spouse to ensure they continue to enjoy a standard of living similar to that enjoyed during the marriage. For the most part, spousal maintenance payments continue indefinitely, but the court may identify an end date at any time.
Helping You Thrive After the Divorce is Finalized
Working with a trusted Oregon family law attorney is the best way to ensure you achieve your divorce goals. An experienced divorce lawyer knows how to assess your situation, explore your available options, and pursue your desired outcome. Whether you are attempting to receive the spousal support you need to help you lay a solid foundation for your post-divorce life, or you are concerned that your soon-to-be ex-spouse is demanding too much spousal support from you, your attorney will work hard to protect your interests and secure a fair and favorable outcome. Divorce can be a highly personal and vulnerable process, so it is essential to find an attorney who takes your situation seriously and treats you with the care, compassion, and respect you deserve.
Seeking a Modification to an Existing Spousal Support Order
Oregon courts recognize that circumstances change. If you can no longer fulfill your spousal support obligation, you may ask the court to modify the existing order. For instance, if you experience a sudden loss of income (e.g., you lose your job), you may worry that you cannot pay the spousal support you owe. If appropriate, the court will examine your current situation and reduce your payment obligation accordingly. Additionally, you may want to consider requesting that the court order the termination of spousal support payments if your ex finds a steady job more quickly than anticipated. Although the laws in some states allow for the automatic termination of spousal support payments when the recipient remarries, Oregon courts will first consider the extent to which the recipient’s new marriage improves their economic situation and determine whether any modification to an existing spousal support order is necessary. If you have questions about modifying a spousal support order in Oregon, discuss your situation and goals with a skilled Portland divorce lawyer.
Keeping Your Future Bright
Beginning the divorce process can be stressful and overwhelming. However, you must recognize that you do not have to navigate this difficult situation alone. Enlisting the guidance of a knowledgeable and compassionate divorce lawyer is the best way to feel supported and empowered at every step of the process. Together, you and your attorney can take the necessary steps to lay a strong foundation for your life’s next chapter.
If you have any questions about the divorce process in Oregon, call Kuzma Law LLC at (503) 406-1787 to speak with a dedicated and friendly Portland family law attorney.